NCPCR concerned over child's rights in confict-ridden Bastar

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Raipur, Dec 18 (UNI) The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has expressed serious concern over the situation being faced by the children in Maoist-affected South Bastar region of Chhattisgarh saying ''they are under the grip of fear and anxiety''.

Talking to newspersons here after the commission conducted a public hearing in Dantewada district, one of the worst Naxalite- affected regions in the country, NCPCR chairperson Dr Shantha Sinha said there were gaps in arrangements being made for children in the state-run relief camps.

''These gaps are not good for children. We are not saying it in terms of food and clothing. The dignity and freedom required for the children are just not there,'' Mr Sinha said, adding the fear and anxiety have to go from the minds of the kids.

Ms Sinha, winner of famous Ramon Magsaysay award, appealed to all concerned, including the state government, security forces and even the Maoists, to contribute to mitigate the sufferings of the children in the conflict zone.

Pointing out that there were many complaints about education and health facilities being provided to the children in the relief camps in South Bastar, she said institutions have been set up, However, their efficiency has to be monitored regularly.

Ms Sinha said the commission, which was on a two-day visit to Dantewada, would submit its report within two weeks besides taking up with the Centre and the Chhattisgarh government the steps required for protecting the rights of the children.

The NCPCR is a statutory body notified under an Act of Parliament on December 29, 2006. Besides the chairperson, the commission have six members from the fields of child health, education, childcare and development, juvenile justice, children with disabilities, elimination of child labour, child psychology or sociology and laws relating to children.

The commission has the power to inquire into complaints and take suo motu notice of matters relating to deprivation of child's rights and non-implementation of laws providing for the protection and development of children among other things.

UNI

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